WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily stopped the once-a-decade census of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October, according to The Associated Press.
The justices, without explanation, blocked a federal trial court ruling, Ross v. National Urban League, et al., that had required the decennial count to continue through the end of the month. Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the lone dissenter.
The census has been held every 10 years in the United States since 1790.
The Trump administration had asked the Supreme Court to suspend the district court order. Administration officials argued that the headcount needed to end immediately so the U.S. Census Bureau had enough time to gather data to crunch the numbers in time for the mandated year-end deadline. The numbers are used to decide how many congressional seats each state gets.
Census data is used to determine a decade’s worth of federal funding, apportionment of House seats and state redistricting, The Washington Post reported.
The Supreme Court was asked to stop the count after a San Francisco-based federal appeals court rejected the Trump administration request.
Judge Lucy H. Koh, ordered the bureau to keep working through the Oct. 31 deadline.
“Because the decennial census is at issue here, an inaccurate count would not be remedied for another decade,” Koh wrote. She also suspended the Dec. 31 statutory deadline for submitting the results.
“The harms caused by rushing this year’s census count are irreparable,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “And respondents will suffer their lasting impact for at least the next 10 years.”
The U.S. Census Bureau said it has counted 99.9% of the households in the U.S. during the 2020 census, according to the AP.